The T&D glass is definitely half full - investment hits record $30 billion


By: SGN Staff

Quick Take: Smart meter vendors are glum these days now that the stimulus monies are played out. But a new survey from Edison Electric Institute (EEI) reveals that the transmission and distribution (T&D) sector is quite healthy. In 2011, utilities and transmission companies invested a record $30.3 billion. That total is a healthy 8.4% higher than in 2010. A little more than one third went to transmission, with the balance to distribution.


And things look good for the future as well. EEI predicts that 2012 will see T&D investments jump to $34 billion. And this is without factoring in municipal utilities and rural co-ops, whose expenditures are not covered by the EEI survey. - By Jesse Berst


That $30.3 billion invested in transmission and distribution infrastructure in 2011 was a record breaker, according to the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) survey. What did the T&D companies spend the money on?


Mostly replacing and upgrading existing transmission lines, building new lines to accommodate load growth in specific regions of the country and bringing new generation sources like renewables into the grid.


That $30.3 billion represents an 8.4% increase in transmission expenditures over 2010, and an increase of 13% more on distribution, according to the EEI Annual Property & Plant Capital Investment Survey. After accounting for a 4.7% increase in transmission-related construction costs in 2011, actual investment grew 3.7% over 2010; and after similar cost adjustments distribution investment increased by 7.9%.